ODOT and Columbus City Schools Work Together on I-70/71 Construction
Construction managed around new Africentric School. Pedestrian bridge to come down.
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is working closely with Columbus City Schools to ensure that the reconstruction of the I-70/71 corridor does not interfere with the rebuilding of the new Africentric School. First item on the agenda? Coordinating the replacement of existing I-70/71 retaining walls including the one immediately north of the existing Africentric School.
Columbus City Schools is presently working on the design of the new school, which will occupy the existing school site at 300 E. Livingston Avenue. To minimize disruption to the school during construction and operation, ODOT plans to begin construction of the portion of the new I-70/71 retaining walls adjacent to the school property and between Grant and Fourth Streets next year with completion by 2012.
Connectivity is ImportantAs part of the I-70/71 redesign, ODOT plans several improvements to reconnect neighborhoods. These include:
The pedestrian bridge is supported by the retaining wall that is being replaced, and there is no public right-of-way from the south end of the bridge to Livingston Avenue. Because of this, it will be impossible to replace this bridge in its current location. However, ODOT is committed to ensuring the I-70/71 project results in better connectivity between German Village and Downtown.
- New, pedestrian-friendly bridge crossings at Grant Avenue, Fourth Street and Third Street with lighting, and wider, landscaped sidewalks.
- Better alignment of proposed pedestrian crossings with crosswalks on Fulton Street, and Livingston Avenue at Third Street, Fourth Street/Mohawk, and Grant Avenue.
- Pedestrian crossing signals at intersections along Fulton and Livingston to improve safety.
ODOT Will Begin Retaining Wall Construction in 2011.
As development of the I-70/71 project continues, ODOT will coordinate with the community to identify further options that would improve pedestrian, bike, transit and roadway crossings over the interstate. ODOT will hold future public meetings to gain additional public input and comments. ODOT will seek consent legislation from Columbus City Council in the near future to move forward with construction of the retaining wall.
The reconstruction of I-70/71 through downtown Columbus is one of the largest projects in Ohio history creating 5,000 jobs. When completed, it will provide safe transportation, saving lives and reducing injuries leaving a positive legacy for future generations.